09 February 2015 09:12
I am posting this story on CPP disability and the denial of benefits. I would like to extend my best wishes to Mr. McClure and his family.
This story illustrates the importance of understanding what happens when individuals apply for early retirement benefits available at at 60.
Mr. McClue was diagnosed with rectal cancer in the Fall of 2012. He applied for CPP early retirement benefits in December 2012 and continue to work during this time period until another tumour was found on his lung in early 2013 - he stopped working on April 23, 2013.
When you take an early retirement benefit from CPP you MQP (the magic date - the date that you need to be found disabled by) becomes the month before you start taking early retirement benefits - this means in this case the MQP is November 2012. Unfortunately, Mr. McClure was working at the time of the MQP and therefore he has been denied.
Another issue that comes up when individuals take early retirement benefits is that once you have collected these for 15 months - you are unable to switch them over to CPP disabiltiy benefits. So many people take their early retirement to supplement their income and then in their early 60s become disabled and are then unable to switch these benefits over - I have numerous phone calls like these on a weekly basis.
I agree with Michael Prince - Mr. MrClure's case is not unusual. Along with the excessive denial rates there is a complete lack of communication from the Feds in terms of how to make application for Canada Pension Plan. I have written extensively on the importance of the MQP as well as what happens when someone takes an early retirement benefit. Mr. McClure correctly states that these MQP rules are never made clear to most people when they apply for CPP disability.
My advice to Mr. McClure is to request an expidited hearing at the Social Security Tribunal - in this situation - I feel the SST will do what they can to help this gentleman - but I do think he will continue to be denied because he is caught up on this legislative technicality with the MQP being November 2012. Of course this would depend on his work activity after that date - was it regularly - did he have the capacity to work - etc.
This is a really tough case to be sure - as obviously there is no doubt that Mr. McClure has a disability that is both severe and prolonged but as you know there is the third piece in the equation and that is the contributions and unfortunately the contributory rules. The CPP letter suggesting that Mr. McClure does not have a disability that is both "severe and prolonged" is inaccurate that is for sure and I think the Feds could do a better job of helping people understand the reasons why they are being denied. I think that there is little understanding about the rules when you take early retirment benefits.
I agree with Mr. McClure that the Feds need to be doing a better job - this system is so broken.
I wish you all the best Mr. McClure.